PDA

View Full Version : Hot literary genres?


Julie Worth
03-10-2006, 03:07 PM
Anybody got a clue? Could they be assassination-fantasy, chic-lit, erotic-confessionals, or anything hyphenated? Or how about assassination-erotic-lit? (Whatever they are, I’m sure not writing in them!)

zarch
03-10-2006, 03:58 PM
I saw a listing (agentquery.com, maybe?) for an agency that was looking for fiction centered around ballroom dancing. Uhh...

Celia Cyanide
03-10-2006, 06:19 PM
If someone told me, and I tried to write one, I know the hot topic would have cooled to room temperature by the time I got finished!

It's difficult, because sometimes you get passionate about a subject, and it's not what other people are passionate about. But Andy Warhol once said, "I always seem to be into the right things at the wrong time," and he managed to be pretty successful. More than just for 15 minutes.

James D. Macdonald
03-10-2006, 06:29 PM
The hottest literary genre is the one the author is passionate about.

Julie Worth
03-10-2006, 07:12 PM
The hottest literary genre is the one the author is passionate about.

A glib answer that is obviously wrong. I suspect that no genre is hot for the first time author, and even if she knew one and could write in that genre, she’d likely miss the wave, or get shoved out of the way by name-brand writers.

Celia Cyanide
03-10-2006, 08:38 PM
A glib answer that is obviously wrong. I suspect that no genre is hot for the first time author, and even if she knew one and could write in that genre, she’d likely miss the wave, or get shoved out of the way by name-brand writers.



I don't think it was glib, I think it was correct, in a way.

A teacher of mine, a published novelist I have a lot of respect for, once told me the top 2 reasons why novels get rejected:

1) It is completely unlike anything else, there is no market for it

2) There are way too many novels like it, and the market is saturated.

The top 2 reasons why a novel gets accepted:

1) It is unique! A fresh idea!

2) There are many novels like it, and there is a market for it.

The reason why one person might reject your idea and say it isn't "hot" might be the reason why someone else accepts it.

Also, I think James might have been referring to the fact that if you write a novel about a topic solely because it's "hot," when you're not passionate about it, your chances of it being your best work will greatly decrease.

Julie Worth
03-10-2006, 08:57 PM
A teacher of mine, a published novelist I have a lot of respect for, once told me the top 2 reasons why novels get rejected:

1) It is completely unlike anything else, there is no market for it
2) There are way too many novels like it, and the market is saturated.

The top 2 reasons why a novel gets accepted:

1) It is unique! A fresh idea!
2) There are many novels like it, and there is a market for it.



And don't forget, it should be more than 100,000 words, but less than 80,000.

Maybe it would be easier to ask what’s cold. In general, fiction is cold, yes? And SF comedies are really cold. And parodies. And memoirs of non-famous people, thrillers by non-famous authors, fanfic, all of those are cold.

Jamesaritchie
03-10-2006, 09:05 PM
I don't think it was glib, I think it was correct, in a way.

A teacher of mine, a published novelist I have a lot of respect for, once told me the top 2 reasons why novels get rejected:

1) It is completely unlike anything else, there is no market for it

2) There are way too many novels like it, and the market is saturated.

The top 2 reasons why a novel gets accepted:

1) It is unique! A fresh idea!

2) There are many novels like it, and there is a market for it.

The reason why one person might reject your idea and say it isn't "hot" might be the reason why someone else accepts it.

Also, I think James might have been referring to the fact that if you write a novel about a topic solely because it's "hot," when you're not passionate about it, your chances of it being your best work will greatly decrease.

The top reason novels get rejected is because they stink. The second most common reason is that, while the novel doesn't stink, it still doesn't smell like flowers in July. Anyone who has read thrugh a slush pile will tell you this.

Those two reasons you list do acount for why some novels in the top five or six percent get rejected, however.

Julie Worth
03-10-2006, 09:10 PM
Those two reasons you list do acount for why some novels in the top five or six percent get rejected, however.

That was a joke, James.

Shadow_Ferret
03-10-2006, 09:17 PM
A glib answer that is obviously wrong. I suspect that no genre is hot for the first time author, and even if she knew one and could write in that genre, she’d likely miss the wave, or get shoved out of the way by name-brand writers.



Not to speak for Uncle Jim, but I think he meant that you should write in the genre YOU feel most strongly about, the genre YOU can put your best into.

Don't go chasing the chimera of what's hot and trendy today because when you've finished (unless you can knock something off in a month) something else might be hot and trendy.

Julie Worth
03-10-2006, 09:22 PM
Not to speak for Uncle Jim, but I think he meant that you should write in the genre YOU feel most strongly about, the genre YOU can put your best into.

Don't go chasing the chimera of what's hot and trendy today because when you've finished (unless you can knock something off in a month) something else might be hot and trendy.

Yes yes, I know all that. I've written six books that way, and I'm halfway through the seventh. But that's it! I'm through with passion. The next one I'm going to approach dispassionately, like EA Poe did with The Raven. Good Lord, folks, I just need to know what genre!

Jamesaritchie
03-10-2006, 09:26 PM
Yes yes, I know all that. I've written six books that way, and I'm halfway through the seventh. But that's it! I'm through with passion. The next one I'm going to approach dispassionately, like EA Poe did with The Raven. Good Lord, folks, I just need to know what genre!





What genre is easy. It's the genre you most love to read. Darned few wirters can write well in a genre unless they love reading it.

If you can't write a pubilshable novel in the genre you most love readng, writing one in a genre you don't love is ten times harder.

Julie Worth
03-10-2006, 09:30 PM
What genre is easy. It's the genre you most love to read. Darned few wirters can write well in a genre unless they love reading it.


LOL! I have a character like this in one of my humorous SF tales. He doesn't want to tell the President something, something ridiculously simple, dancing around it so long that the President finally dies of a stroke.

aadams73
03-10-2006, 09:34 PM
Yes yes, I know all that. I've written six books that way, and I'm halfway through the seventh. But that's it! I'm through with passion. The next one I'm going to approach dispassionately, like EA Poe did with The Raven. Good Lord, folks, I just need to know what genre!





In that case... ;) Paranormals are really hot right now.

Julie Worth
03-10-2006, 09:48 PM
In that case... ;) Paranormals are really hot right now.

Excellent! My WIP is sort of paranormal. It's about a fortuneteller, anyway, so I wonder if that will do?

aadams73
03-10-2006, 10:19 PM
Only one way to find out--submit that puppy!

alleycat
03-10-2006, 10:21 PM
Excellent! My WIP is sort of paranormal. It's about a fortuneteller, anyway, so I wonder if that will do?


Might as well make it controversial as well (like The Da Vinci Code). Perhaps the fortuneteller told the Bush administration about 9/11, but they did nothing.

Or, how about a diet book that also pokes fun of men, sex, sports, breast enlargements, and reality TV shows. People would love it!

;)

ac

aruna
03-10-2006, 10:24 PM
Yes yes, I know all that. I've written six books that way, and I'm halfway through the seventh. But that's it! I'm through with passion. The next one I'm going to approach dispassionately, like EA Poe did with The Raven. Good Lord, folks, I just need to know what genre!





Donald Maass says that the words he hears most from editors over lunch is: "I am looking for big, well-written thrillers".
Thrillers and romances will always do well, if the stories are unique enough. I'm wary of paranormal; could be a trend that'll be over in a year or two, when you want to go to print. I'd stick with the traditional..

badducky
03-10-2006, 10:33 PM
Romance novels crisp up nicely, and tend not to have weird, expensive glues that smell bad.

Also, anything with a celebrity's face on the cover will probably burn up real fast. They tend to churn out the hardcovers, and all that cardboar helps keep your fire going.

Excellent sources of genre heat.

Wait, what?

badducky
03-11-2006, 12:06 AM
On a more serious note: You're not writing for what's hot right now. Your book won't be in stores for 2-5 years. You have to write with an eye for the future.


Don't ask what's hot. Instead, try to use your knowledge of your preferred are of interest to see the future, find the gaps in the bookshelf, etc.

If you write the books of now, you'll probably hear that that was the book of last season, last year, etc.
Good luck.

aadams73
03-11-2006, 12:25 AM
Your book won't be in stores for 2-5 years.

That's not necessarily an accurate figure.

In fact Miss Snark would say you're full of c**p ;)

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006/03/report-from-journal-balderdash.html

She may or may not be the real deal, but in this case what she says is in line with what my own agent says.

badducky
03-11-2006, 01:15 AM
Oh, I'm not arguing with her. Here's how my 2 year number factors in:


BOOM - inspiration to write book. "Better get started on that outline and first draft..."

6 months-year later "Okay, now it's time to edit and/or enter the query-go-round..."

established authors with agents can certainly get the water wheel of the publishing industry moving faster in the opposite direction.

However, in this author's case, the kernel hasn't even struck, yet.

Thus, 2-5 years.

aadams73
03-11-2006, 03:07 AM
Ah ok, gotcha now :) Yeah from that standpoint it absolutely makes sense!

blacbird
03-11-2006, 03:39 AM
Donald Maass says that the words he hears most from editors over lunch is: "I am looking for big, well-written thrillers".

Not questioning this, but to some extent it probably reflects that the editors Donald Maass talks to tend to be the ones specifically interested in "big, well-written thrillers." He specializes in that sort of thing.

caw.

britwrit
03-12-2006, 04:00 PM
According to our beloved Miss Snark, the market for Private Eye novels is ice-cold right now.

James D. Macdonald
03-12-2006, 05:11 PM
A glib answer that is obviously wrong.



It's completely true, and completely accurate.

James D. Macdonald
03-12-2006, 05:22 PM
According to our beloved Miss Snark, the market for Private Eye novels is ice-cold right now.

And it will remain so until the next person who is passionate about private eye books writes a hot private eye novel, at which point it'll be a hot genre.

Then all the little me-toos and coulda-beena-contendahs will start writing private eye books, even if they've never read one in their lives, even if they hate the genre, because they're all looking for someone to tell them the next hot genre.

There wasn't a technothriller genre until Tom Clancy started writing them. As a first novel. Pulled out of the slush pile at a publisher that had never previously published a novel at all.

Or look at Maureen McHugh's first novel, pulled out of the slush pile, about gay Chinese subway workers. That wasn't a hot genre -- that was what she was passionate about.

aruna
03-12-2006, 05:37 PM
I personally think novelists should aim to be trend setters, not trend followers. Especially considering the gap between idea and publication. That's where the "passion" thing comes in. However, death and love will are universally and eternally fascinating, that's why I'd stick with thriller/crime, and romance.

Ken Schneider
03-12-2006, 06:10 PM
I don't know much of anything, but I do know what I like to read, and what I've read the most.

That is what I write.

I make it the best I can and send it out.

If you read books about how to bake bread, all day, everyday, from all over the world, you'd be a bread expert!

My opinion, but genre hopping is not good, find one and stick with it, and learn the ins and outs of that genre to write better books.

Granted, (before someone says this), that some genres encompass and reach into other areas and genres.

You can write a romantic mystery, SF murder on Mars. The majority of a books genre is how I assume they class it, though.

If the original question is intended to gain some type of edge in the possibility of publication....

Write a good book.

triceretops
03-12-2006, 06:25 PM
I don't think Julie's intention of this post had anything to do with hound-dogging new trends or trying to placate the marketplace. I think she was just curious about "Whass up" out there, or what's unusual and new. I've been curious about some of the new sub-genres and trends myself, and only read or study them out of facination. I think a lot of small startup publishers are responsible for some of the newer genres we see. It's like they want to find a specialized, untapped niche market.

One that I've seen lately, and it's starting to spread (don't know for how long) is this urban setting type gangster novel. I forget what it's called, but they are written in a gritty, sometimes drug-related, explicit style involving many taboo topics, or at least very graphic settings and plots. Rape, murder, so on and so forth. They are written for shock value, lots of violence. It's not real popular yet (or hell, maybe it might be) but I think it's getting a foothold. Just can't remember the name of this genre though.

I'm kind of glad to finally see the marriage of Romance and Science Fiction. I think that this can be the best of both worlds for male and female readers, to somehow meet in the middle and declare a truce. Hah!

I'm really hoping to see another SF blockbuster epic hit the shelves and screen again. I think it's been awhile.

Tri

Julie Worth
03-12-2006, 06:47 PM
There wasn't a technothriller genre until Tom Clancy started writing them. As a first novel. Pulled out of the slush pile at a publisher that had never previously published a novel at all.

Ah, that’s an interesting example. I read something about that not so long ago. His first book wasn’t exactly pulled from the slush pile as Jim suggests. In fact, it was published by a small specialist house—the Naval Press Institute, which Clancy already had a relationship with. And it took off because a well-placed fan gave one to Ronald Regan, and he gave it a good review. Zoom!

So, it was a combination of luck and knowing an editor. Clancy was passionate about it, sure, but half of all novelists are passionate about their work, and they don’t end up worth 200 million.

My impression, from reading their success stories, is that half to three-quarters of all big time novelists didn't get there by following the rules. Something else happened. They knew an editor, or they left their ms on an airplane. Some combination of luck and connections.

aruna
03-12-2006, 06:53 PM
I don't think Julie's intention of this post had anything to do with hound-dogging new trends or trying to placate the marketplace. Tri

I didn't understand it that way either. I think she's in rather a similar position to myself. I wrote the book I was passionate about, and that turned out to be not what editors are looking for. I saw that compromise was necessary; find out what would count as hot, and find an original take on that, something I can be passionate about. I need to satisfy both the aquisition people, and myself. It is possible, I think. They can't help thinking in terms of genres and trends. But as William Goldman said, and this applies as much to the book world as to ,movies, "Nobody knows anything". I do believe in following one's own unique voice, and with a bit of luck that just happen to coincide with the next hot thing....

Vuligora
03-12-2006, 07:05 PM
What genre? What kind of a question is that? Almost all basic genres ae popular. Fantasy seems to be hitting it off real well. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Artemis Fowl...you get the idea. In addition, who cares? Writting in a popular genre doesn't mean you'll sell, especially if you hate the genre. Then it won't sell at all cause it will suck cause you aren't skilled in writting the genre you wrote about. If it's a good novel, it'll sell. Forget the genre!

Ken Schneider
03-12-2006, 07:13 PM
I didn't understand it that way either.

That's why I started with, "If" As a question, then write a good book and forget about it if that is not the case.

Why would one want to know what the, "Hot genre" is?

I would have to assume, so that they could write a book in that genre in hopes of catching the wave of publication in that genre?

An established writer could run over to the hot genre and get on board rather quickly. One who doesn't write in that genre, or is yet to publish, would have some studying to do before they could hop on board, and then might miss the boat, that's all.

Hence, pick a genre you like, read in it, learn about it, and write it.

Hell, I wore bell bottoms in high school in "78" They wore mini-skirts in the sixties.

I noticed they did so again in the ninties, and wear mini-skirts in 2006.

All genres will make the circle. As Jim said, someone will have to write a blockbuster to open a so called cold genre, again.

Why not you, if that is what you like?

Julie Worth
03-12-2006, 07:13 PM
If it's a good novel, it'll sell.

That's one theory. Mine is--if you're lucky and well connected, it'll sell.

aruna
03-12-2006, 07:31 PM
What genre? What kind of a question is that? Almost all basic genres ae popular. Fantasy seems to be hitting it off real well. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Artemis Fowl...you get the idea. In addition, who cares? Writting in a popular genre doesn't mean you'll sell, especially if you hate the genre. Then it won't sell at all cause it will suck cause you aren't skilled in writting the genre you wrote about. If it's a good novel, it'll sell. Forget the genre!

This is all true. And yet, in my experience, acquisitons editors first ask, "what genre?" They love to cubbyhole things. One of the problems with my last ms, even though it was praised by a few agents and editors, was, "we don't know how to market this, we don't know where to place it". They like to stick a label on novels - unfortunately for us. That's why it's so important to learn the art of compromise.

Julie Worth
03-12-2006, 07:45 PM
Aruna is right: the first question is the genre. My thinking was to take two hot genres and hyphenate them. Erotic material in thrillers is generally verboten, so what if I intentionally crossed the wires with an erotic-thriller? Already been done, you say? How about an erotic children’s book? Okay okay, but was the writer passionate about it?

Jamesaritchie
03-12-2006, 07:47 PM
My impression, from reading their success stories, is that half to three-quarters of all big time novelists didn't get there by following the rules. Something else happened. They knew an editor, or they left their ms on an airplane. Some combination of luck and connections.



From my experience, such things are extremely rae, but they're the ones you hear most about because they're the ones that make the headlines. Rarity always makes headlines, but I just don't know many bestselling writers who got where they are through luck.

Nor do I think knowing an editor helps. Editors publish books they think will sell a million copies to the reaidng public, no matter where those books come from. There are thousands of wannabe writers who know editors well, but who never have a novel published. And an incredible number who have never met an editor who have hit the bestseller list.

But if a writer happens to know an editor, and if his book sells, suddenly the reason it sold is because he knew an editor. It just doesn't work that way. It doesn't come close to working that way. If it did, every person that editor knows who has a novel would be published writer. For most of the editors I've known, it works just the opposite. Knowing someone who wants to be a writer means that person has to be better than someone the editor doesn't know because no editor wants to look biased. Knowing an editor is only an advantage if you write a super novel that has bestseller written all over it.

But if you do know an editor, everyone out there thinks that's why you get published. Just strange.

I know Ronald Reagan helped The Hunt for Red October, but the book was already published, the fan who gave a copy to Reagan had to have that copy in the first place, and the book had to be written in a way that made Reagan love it. And it didn't hurt that the NSA went around trying to find out where Clancy got all that "classified" information about nuclear submarines, but again, that information had to be in the book before they started wondering where he got it.

And Red October took off because it was a one of a kind, super read. Readers couldn't stop talking about it, and most of the fans I know who loved the book had no clue that Reagan had read it or liked it. That novel was simply spectacular. I didn't have a clue Reagan had read it, but that was a novel I read from start to finish in one sitting because I'd never read anything remotely like it. In fact, I don't think Reagan had read it yet when I got my first copy, and I spent a lot of time telling everyone I knew that it was a must read. I don't think many people read Red October because of Reagan, or that Red October wouldn't have been a bestseller without his help. The book was a wonderful read, written in a wonderful way, and all Reagan did was give it a little bump.

I think it all comes back to write what you love. Clancy didn't write that novel because he thought it would be a bestseller, or because he thought Reagan might like it. He wrote it solely becauze the subject matter fascinated him, and it was what he wanted to write about. He didn't go looking for something that would be marketable, he didn't try to discern what was hot and what wasn't. If he'd done that, Red October would never have been written.

I don't believe there are any cold genres, there are only genres where no one is writing what the public wants. The western genre was considered dead and buried when Larry McMurtey wrote "Lonesome Dove." Overnight the western genre was all anyone could talk about, and that novel won the Pulizer. Western novels just do not win the Pulitzer.

There wasn't any luck involved. That novel was simply incredible.

I don't know about following the rules, but darned few of the bestselling writers I know got where they are through anything resembling luck. Luck nearly always comes down to writing a novel that's worth reading.

If you write a good novel, one people will love, you don't need much, or anything, in the way of luck. If you can't write such a novel, all the luck in the world isn't going to help.

Luck always seems to come to the writer who writes the best and works the hardest. And who writes what he writes because that's what he loves writing.

Believing luck has much to do with getting published is, I think, a way to get off the hook. Out in the real world, luck just isn't very common. Neither is good writing. Bad writing usually leads to bad "luck," and good writing usually leads to good "luck."

Jamesaritchie
03-12-2006, 08:09 PM
There is, of ocurse, teh possibility of intentionally writing a "coattail" novel. Most novels that hit the top of the bestseller list and stay there for a long time will bring a few other novels along with it. Da Vinci Code has certainly seen this happen.

If you look at the hardcover bestseller list over the last coupe of years, you find several novels that have to do with the Templars, or that somehow tie in with Da Vinci.

If you can write relatively fast, and if you can write well, and if you can find a novel on the subject that you'd love to write, you can give a novel a better chance by connecting it to whatever that bestseller is.

But, of course, umpteen million other writers are all trying the same thing, so you still have to write a good novel.

aruna
03-12-2006, 08:12 PM
I think luck does play a part, but in a specific way. Let's put it this way: out there is ONE agent, and ONE only, who would absolutely love my work. It's exactly what he's looking for. I have no idea who he is. I work down my list of "suitable" agents, knowing little more about them than their list of authors.
Is this the first agent I query, or the last? Do I ever find him at all? Perhaps he is not even on my list.
That, I would say, is where luck comes in.

triceretops
03-12-2006, 08:46 PM
In my case it was timing. So maybe I was lucky with the timing factor. A great book that an agent or editor will love is a given. I think timing plays an important part when the buyer finds that special project when they need it, or are starting a new line in that area, or had someone drop off the scope, who had had previously sent in a similar project.

Tri

TLHines
03-13-2006, 12:38 AM
That's one theory. Mine is--if you're lucky and well connected, it'll sell.

The "you have to be well connected" thing pops up so frequently, I think, because it's comforting to think: "Gee, the only reason I haven't sold anything is because I don't KNOW anybody."

I'll not deny that timing and divine providence have a lot to do with getting published, but the contact thing is bunk. People get published without contacts all the time. It happened to me; it can happen to you.

Great connections will never get an utter piece of tripe published. Great writing can--and does--get "unconnected" writers published all the time.

(Yes, we can argue about the work of "celebrities," but I would say this is a whole different kind of animal; we're simply talking about "connections" here.)

Julie Worth
03-13-2006, 01:29 AM
There's an extensive list of literary genres at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_genre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_genre)

badducky
03-13-2006, 02:27 AM
Wikipedia is an interesting information source, but it is hardly what I would call "Accurate". I've seen too many errors to truly trust their data.

For instance, up until very recently, their listing on literary agents claimed agents traditionally earned 25-35% of the sale of a book. I corrected that one back when we still could, but I haven't seen if it was fixed. At this time it's listing 10-20 percent... Which isn't really accurate for literary agents, is it?

15% is the standard, not 10-20%

Information on Wikipedia is to be taken as an educated guess.

As far as genres are concerned, I do heartily agree with the posters that suggest passion leads to new genres.

I'll go even further: those lucky scenarios described are not really about how luck effects writers, but how writers effect luck. The genre that isn't invented yet is hidden in the cracks of your bookshelf. You just have to research it, and see the future!

Diane
03-13-2006, 02:30 AM
Site link removed per request of other site's Webmaster

Julie Worth
03-13-2006, 05:03 AM
[Redacted--JDM]

I’m sure that if you create a work of genius, the world will beat a path to your door. And I’m equally sure that the measure of genius is entirely subjective.

banjo
03-13-2006, 08:57 AM
The top reason novels get rejected is because they stink. The second most common reason is that, while the novel doesn't stink, it still doesn't smell like flowers in July. Anyone who has read thrugh a slush pile will tell you this.


Hahahahahahahaha!

aruna
03-13-2006, 11:31 AM
Site link removed per request of other site's Webmaster




It's true that some first novels are so obviously winners, no agent could possible turn them down. I'm talking about blockbuster thrillers and the like; or really, really well written literary works such as The God of Small Things and White Teeth. Their brilliance just stands out from the first page.

But there are quieter, most subtler works, perhaps those not destined for a mass market but valuable in spite of that, books that can change lives. I've read such books; and I'm sure they would have a hard time finding an agent, as they are not highly commercial (Example: The Book of Mirdad, which completely revolutionised my life). Agents are certainy not fighting over such works, and it's sad that such books have to struggle so hard to make their way into print. Those are the books that agents say "It's definitely good but I'm not crazy about it". As my ex-agent once said: in this business you have to be either huge, or you're nothing. Agents are looking for books that will be HUGE.

It's a tough world out there, and passion needs to show through as brilliance. As for making connections for a screenplay: no matter how brilliant your script may be, this is next to impossible unless you live in LA and network your pants off. Agents don't even read them. They send queries back saying that they are not accepted and that yours has not been read (one agency even sent a query of mine, unread, back by Fed Ex, with a disclaimer!).
We have it a lot easier in the book world.

blacbird
03-13-2006, 06:01 PM
with a bit of luck

God how I hate that phrase.

I hate it.

I hate it.

I hate it.

caw.

James D. Macdonald
03-13-2006, 06:04 PM
But there are quieter, most subtler works, perhaps those not destined for a mass market but valuable in spite of that, books that can change lives.

The small press, where agents are not generally required, is perfect for this.

James D. Macdonald
03-13-2006, 06:05 PM
I’m sure that if you create a work of genius, the world will beat a path to your door.



Not if you don't submit it to a publisher that takes the particular kind of book you've written.

blacbird
03-13-2006, 06:13 PM
I'll not deny that timing and divine providence have a lot to do with getting published

God I hate that phrase.

I hate it.

I hate it.

I hate it.

caw.

aruna
03-13-2006, 06:14 PM
The small press, where agents are not generally required, is perfect for this.

Thank God for the small press!

Julie Worth
03-13-2006, 06:43 PM
Not if you don't submit it to a publisher that takes the particular kind of book you've written.

I was being facetious.

badducky
03-13-2006, 09:00 PM
God I hate that phrase.

I hate it.

I hate it.

I hate it.

caw.

I'm with blacbird for once. Quality writing, well-researched submissions, professionalism, and a clear sense of intent tend to magically create "divine providence". Funny how the lord helps those who help themselves.

I suspect the external locus of control in the cliche is indicative of how it feels to wait out submissions. However, your "divine providence" is closely tied to the work you did before the wait.

aruna
03-13-2006, 09:35 PM
I'm with blacbird for once. Quality writing, well-researched submissions, professionalism, and a clear sense of intent tend to magically create "divine providence". Funny how the lord helps those who help themselves.

I suspect the external locus of control in the cliche is indicative of how it feels to wait out submissions. However, your "divine providence" is closely tied to the work you did before the wait.

Divine providence, like co-incidence, is just another word for luck...

What I've found is that far more than "Quality writing, well-researched submissions, professionalism" it comes down to inner attitude. It's like parents trying to conceive; they worry and long and yearn, and the longer it takes the more their anxiety grows, until their very anxiety gets in the way. So they adopt, and relax - and promtly they get pregnant. Anyway, that's how it works with me!

triceretops
03-13-2006, 09:46 PM
True, Sharon. It seems that when I'm least expecting good tidings and fortune, it decides to make its appearance. When I'm wound up in anticipation, it fails to show its gleeful face.

Tri

blacbird
03-13-2006, 09:47 PM
I'm with blacbird for once.

For once?

caw.

Diane
03-13-2006, 10:09 PM
As for making connections for a screenplay: no matter how brilliant your script may be, this is next to impossible unless you live in LA and network your pants off. Agents don't even read them.

I know this is the Novels conference but: this is not true. It is not all about the networking. Networking is useless unless you have something to show them, and if you have something good, you're going to get noticed. (Once you're noticed? Yeah, it's easier to live in LA 'cause that's where the jobs are. But no one I know has sold a screenplay or started a career because they knew someone. It's because they wrote something someone wanted.)

It's the same for books. All the connections in the world mean squat if you have nothing to show (or you have something that's crappy, same thing).

aruna
03-13-2006, 10:15 PM
Networking is useless unless you have something to show them, and if you have something good, you're going to get noticed. (Once you're noticed? Yeah, it's easier to live in LA 'cause that's where the jobs are. But no one I know has sold a screenplay or started a career because they knew someone. It's because they wrote something someone wanted.)


Yes, but how do you get a great screenplay noticed? Nobody is going to know it's so great if nobody reads it! I know it's not all about networking; but however great it is, SOMBODY has to read it besides you. But how, if they don't know you? At some point you have to pitch to somebody who can help you on.

TLHines
03-13-2006, 10:25 PM
I hate that phrase.

I hate it.

I hate it.

I hate it.

Gee, I think "with getting published" is a perfectly acceptable phrase.

Oh, you must be talking about the "divine providence" thing. I certainly didn't mean it as any theologically prescriptive statement; call it "luck" if you prefer. Or karma. Or whatever. My only point was: timing, does indeed, play a factor--whatever your favorite phrase may be. You gotta be in the right place at the right time, and that's just plain out of your control.

TLHines
03-13-2006, 10:39 PM
Quality writing, well-researched submissions, professionalism, and a clear sense of intent tend to magically create "divine providence". Funny how the lord helps those who help themselves.

No argument from me there. Guess I didn't know this was such an emotionally charged phrase; as you pointed out, it's a well-worn cliche, and I only intended it as a synonym for "timing." Yeesh.

I suspect the external locus of control in the cliche is indicative of how it feels to wait out submissions. However, your "divine providence" is closely tied to the work you did before the wait.

Agreed on this, as well. However, an internal locus of control is equally at fault for the wrong attitude toward submissions; it's the kind of thing that creates the "If I only knew someone" reaction. It's a numbers game, and your submission has to cross the right desk at the right time.

Now, may the most holy Lord Yahweh bestow His eternal...just kidding, folks. I find boxer shorts are less constricting.

Celia Cyanide
03-13-2006, 11:27 PM
Yes, but how do you get a great screenplay noticed? Nobody is going to know it's so great if nobody reads it! I know it's not all about networking; but however great it is, SOMBODY has to read it besides you. But how, if they don't know you? At some point you have to pitch to somebody who can help you on.

I agree. If your script is monumentally bad and of interest to no one, all the networking in the world won't help you, but I do think a lot of bad scripts get bought because the screenwriter was good at schmoozing at the pitch.

blacbird
03-13-2006, 11:44 PM
I do think a lot of bad scripts get bought because the screenwriter was good at schmoozing at the pitch.

It may not be germane to this discussion, but it's food for thought: I watched about ten minutes of "The Mummy Returns" last night, which was the maximum I could stand. Even the knife-and-sword duel between the two nearly naked nubile maidens didn't cut it (so to speak). That screenplay came from somewhere . . .

caw.

blacbird
03-13-2006, 11:51 PM
I dislike the "L" word, and its numerous synonyms, mainly because I don't have any. I would go down to the Luck store and buy some, except it's been run out of business by Wal-Mart, and all they carry is Bad Karma. I'm already oversupplied with that.

caw.

Sassenach
03-14-2006, 12:24 AM
Site link removed per request of other site's Webmaster


Still doesn't account for the hours of crap that gets made. Timing? Luck? Connections?

aghast
03-14-2006, 12:28 AM
michale chabon said to get published you need talent, luck and discipline and of the three you c an only control the last one and have faith that you've got the other two, and I belive him

Euan H.
03-14-2006, 03:28 AM
It may not be germane to this discussion, but it's food for thought: I watched about ten minutes of "The Mummy Returns" last night, which was the maximum I could stand. Even the knife-and-sword duel between the two nearly naked nubile maidens didn't cut it (so to speak). That screenplay came from somewhere . . .

caw.
I enjoyed that movie, and given that it made more than $200m and had the biggest ever opening weekend (over $68m), I'd say a bunch of other people did too. The movie cost $98m to produce.

Bad script?

Only if your definition of 'bad' has nothing to do with financial returns. :)

Diane
03-15-2006, 09:57 PM
In case anyone wants to talk about Hollywood's seemingly bizarre decisions, I've started a new thread over on the Scriptwriting board: How come THAT got made (and mine didn't)? (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29120)

Celia Cyanide
03-16-2006, 11:24 PM
Only if your definition of 'bad' has nothing to do with financial returns. :)

My definition of good and bad writing never has much at all to do with money.

LightShadow
03-17-2006, 06:40 AM
What's hot now, whether it is bad or good writing it doesn't matter, is conspiracy thrillers...and I thought the most successful of those, the Da Vinci Code, was outright poor writing...as well as poorly researched. Nonetheless, sometimes good writing is not as good as good timing. What's the next hot genre? Time will tell.